Housing Committee

Meeting Minutes

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The members of the Affordable Housing Committee are appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
  • Van Ellet, Chair
  • Leigh Short, Vice-Chair
  • Vivienne Jaffe, Clerk
  • Alison O'Grady
  • Joan Rubel


To assist the Board of Selectmen in its effort to provide a full range of housing choices that are affordable for all residents of Williamstown. The Committee is dedicated to enhancing the diversity and economic vibrancy of Williamstown by developing and preserving quality, affordable housing.

Guiding Principles

The Committee believes that housing, as a basic human need, is a critical component of any economically successful community.Housing that is affordable should be available to all regardless of any defining factor such as race, religion, gender, income, physical or mental issues. It is the Committee’s goal that residents of Williamstown have access to decent, cost-appropriate housing that meets their respective needs.To that end the Committee will:

1. Support and facilitate the creation of  “affordable housing” as housing:
    1) created under eligible subsidy programs;
    2) where total housing costs are affordable for a household earning at or below 80% of the area                               median income;
    3) regulated by deed restriction (s) or regulatory agreement; and
    4) subject to affirmative fair marketing and resident selection requirements. (Housing that meets                               these criteria are eligible for inclusion on the state's subsidized housing inventory).

2. Engage the local community in ways that encourages support for,  and increases public awareness and understanding of, both “affordable housing” issues and local housing needs.

3. Document and evaluate the need for all forms of housing that are affordable for the residents of Williamstown, including sub-populations such as elderly, young adult, low-and-moderate-income groups, and families.

4. Develop plans, in cooperation with other town agencies and boards, that take the above needs into account and provide guidance and recommendations for action.

5. Assist in the identification and development of potential sites and models for housing options that will maintain and preserve the character and historical nature of Williamstown, while enhancing the quality of life in affected neighborhoods.

6. Research, evaluate and promote programs and housing policies that advance development of the towns identified housing needs.